After the death of somebody close to you, the last thing you want to think about are the legal issues that can arise when dealing with a will. Emotions are high, people are grieving, and it feels as though the whole world should stop.
The reality, unfortunately, is that a person’s will needs to handled through the proper channels and in a timely manner after his or her death. A number of different parties can be involved in executing a will, but everything ultimately runs through the probate courts.
One major duty of Florida probate courts is to oversee the administration of an estate after a person has passed away. The estate’s executor or personal administrator handles a number of tasks, such as carrying out the instructions in any existing will, gathering and valuing assets, paying creditors, and distributing what remains to the proper heirs or beneficiaries.
To do these tasks appropriately, many personal representatives or executors need assistance from professionals. While an experienced attorney should always be the first person you call, you or your lawyer may also need to consult other professionals.
Appraisers determine the value of property, using comparison data, sales records, and other information. There are appraisers who specialize in certain types of property, such as real estate or specific collectibles. However, there are those who have broader experience – or even specialize – in appraising estates. Your lawyer will likely be able to assess your situation, and help you choose the most qualified appraiser for your case.
2. Accountant or Tax Professional
The tax obligations involved in wrapping up an estate can be complex, particularly if the estate has a high net worth, includes one or more business interests, or contains a diverse range of assets. An accountant can help you ensure that everything is accounted for and that all necessary federal, state, or local tax paperwork is performed correctly. An accountant may also be able to answer specific questions about how to best handle the estate so as to minimize the tax burden on its beneficiaries. Finally, an accountant can help ensure that the information you provide the probate court is complete and accurate. This helps to keep the probate process on track by reducing unnecessary and undesirable delays.
3. Financial Planner
Many people are aware of the important role a financial planner plays in estate planning, particularly when it comes to minimizing the tax implications of certain investments, etc. But fewer people realize that a financial planner can be a key ally when executing an estate plan as well. A financial planner can help address issues of titling and can help beneficiaries manage what they receive from the estate in a responsible manner.
Contact Your Florida Probate Attorneys Today
While the probate process follows particular rules, fulfilling all the requirements of probate can be time-consuming and, in some cases, complex. Let the attorneys at Beller & Bustamante help you handle probate more efficiently and in accordance with Florida law. Request an appointment today by filling out our online appointment form, or call our office at 904-288-4414 to schedule a consultation.